Veteran right-hander Zack Godley went unclaimed on waivers and has elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment, as first indicated on the Triple-A transaction log at MLB.com. The Brewers designated Godley for assignment earlier in the week.
Godley, 31, inked a minor league deal with Milwaukee earlier in the year and was twice selected to the big league roster. The right-hander sustained a finger injury in his first outing and landed on the injured list for just under two weeks — after which the Brewers designated him for assignment. Godley accepted an outright to Triple-A after that first DFA, but he’ll now head out in search of a new opportunity after once again being selected to the MLB roster only to be designated for assignment following a single appearance.
Godley certainly hasn’t been effective in his 3 1/3 innings with the Brewers this season, surrendering five earned runs, but he’s been sharp with their Triple-A affiliate. He’s thrown 30 innings down in Nashville and logged a 2.40 ERA with a strong 28.6 percent strikeout rate, a 10.1 percent walk rate and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate.
At one point, Godley was a solid member of the D-backs’ staff, pitching to a 4.41 ERA with a 23.3 percent strikeout rate in 444 2/3 innings from 2015-18. That stretch featured the right-hander’s best season: a 2017 campaign in which he tossed 155 innings of 3.37 ERA ball. However, Godley took a step back in 2018 (4.74 ERA in 178 1/3 frames) and struggled even more in 2019 (6.39 ERA) before being cut loose by Arizona. He finished out the 2019 campaign with a decent stretch in the Blue Jays’ bullpen, but his hopes for a rebound in 2020 were largely dashed by a forearm strain that limited him to 28 2/3 innings with the Red Sox.
All told, Godley has a 4.92 ERA in 568 1/3 innings at the big league level and a 2.78 mark in 90 2/3 innings of Triple-A ball. At his best, he’s looked like a capable big league starter, but it’s been a few years since he’s displayed that form. He didn’t get much of a chance to do so in Milwaukee, but his track record and the widespread need for pitching depth around the league ought to earn him another look elsewhere.